KW Originals

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 Your Partner in Jewellery

Glass Bead Making or Lampworking

KW Originals is now pleased to offer handmade glass beads, fully annealed at very competitive prices.

"The history of lampwork beads goes back thousands of years when the artist made their beads over candles and with special"lanterns". Romans and Italians are some of the first beadmakers to use these processes. The Italians had kept their "secrets" for many years, but no longer. The basic idea is used today only with more technical, precise  flames and very innovative torches. The contemporary lampwork movement has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years or more. You can now buy glass from all over the world in many different colors and types of glass. Classes are taught throughout the country and abroad. It is fascinating to be part of such history.
Lampworking is the process of melting glass in a torch to form beads, sculpture, marbles, etc. Lampwork glass beads are made by melting glass rods in the flame and wrapping the hot glass on already prepared mandrels to form various shapes that have the hole in the middle.  A mandrel is a stainless steel wire anywhere from 1/16th in size on up. The mandrel is prepared by dipping it in mandrel release, which is basically a  flux. If you did not use the release the hot glass would stick to the mandrel and you would not be able to get the beads off. Beads are considered anything that has a hole that you can string onto cording, wire, chain, leather and even threads. There are 2 types of lampwork beads, works of art  (for galleries and art exhibits) and beads for jewelry although all self represented artists lampwork beads are works of art since they are handmade, some are suited better for jewelry because the style is more accommodating for jewelry designs. You can buy the inexpensive lampwork beads that are mass produced in China and abroad but don't expect  your jewelry designs to be "one of a kind" or have that special touch of handmade / artist made beads. My grandmother always said, " You get what you paid for!" ...she was a smart lady."
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